Where 14th July stands in the History of Sports

For sports enthusiasts all over the world, Sundays are of utmost religious importance. From Cricket and Football to Tennis and Basketball, almost all sports matches are scheduled on the last day of the week, so that fans can relax on their day off and enjoy the contest. But the Sunday of July 14, 2019, was anything but relaxing. The day was truly an action-packed one, with the Finals of both the Cricket World Cup and the Championships at Wimbledon on offer. To top it all off, the Main Race of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was also to be flagged off that day. The biggest problem which was eventually attributed to a coincidence was that all these fixtures were being held in Great Britain, all of which started at roughly the same time, making fans anxious of missing out on even one moment of the action.

The exciting turn of events began with lights out at Silverstone Circuit, the birthplace of Grand Prix racing. While Formula One lacks a substantial fan base in India and has been accused of selling boredom on more than once occasion, diehard fans would agree that the race turned out to be one of the most thrilling races of all time with plenty of overtakes and crashes to capture all of the viewer’s­ attention. The race was a historic one as Championship leader Lewis Hamilton won his home race for a record-breaking 6th time.

However, the most exhilarating contest of the evening was the final match of Wimbledon, between tennis legends Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. While the match was bound to be interesting, history was made as the match lasted for four hours and fifty-seven minutes and went into the last set tiebreaker, making it the longest final ever held in Wimbledon. They continued to put in their best even after being exhausted by the sheer length of the game, after which it didn’t even matter who emerged as the winner. In the end, Djokovic triumphed and took home his fifth title on grass.

But, most people in India were glued to their screens to watch one thing alone; the final match of the Cricket World Cup, between the hosts England and New Zealand, both eyeing their first championship. The match was held at Lord’s, the home of cricket, a stadium packed to the brim with English fans rooting for their team to win, who were surely not disappointed. After a hundred and two overs being bowled with tons of dramatic and nail-biting moments, there was nothing to separate the two evenly matched teams as the game was tied and a super over was bowled. Even the super oversaw both the teams score exactly the same number of runs. England, the creators of the sport, were declared winners based on boundaries scored, their first championship in fifty over cricket. While the match and its aftermath were filled with controversy and debate, it will be remembered by posterity as one of the greatest matches of cricket ever played.

In these times of hostility, sports are the only way to promote healthy competition and strengthen bonds between people from all walks of life. After intense competitions which ended with friendly handshakes, it was proven on this day that sports have the power to usher positive change. The sheer quality of the sportsmanship displayed by the men who took to the fields is reflected by the various records broken and everlasting memories made. The 14th day of July in the year 2019 is a day no one will ever forget as it will go down in history as the day when men put their differences aside and contributed every last bit of their abilities to achieve a singular goal, which transformed into a sporting spectacle no one has witnessed before, inspiring the next generation of athletes to believe in themselves and never give up until the final whistle has been blown.

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